Department of Biological Sciences
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates
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Biology is a diverse and rapidly expanding field of study that addresses issues relevant to health, agriculture, industry and the environment. Biologists are responsible for new discoveries in medicine and molecular biology, increasing crop yields and pest resistance, defining the ecological relationships that maintain our planet, and examining the origins and evolution of species, to name just a few.
You will learn and conduct research alongside our faculty, who are highly regarded and internationally known for their discoveries. Beyond the classroom, we encourage students to seek out faculty mentors and to conduct research very early in their college careers. Not only does this provide you the opportunity to apply knowledge learned in the classroom, but it also establishes you in the field and paves the way for future success.
Our program is highly regarded by both employers and educational institutions, allowing our graduates to pursue careers in government, education, and industry. Many students go onto graduate or professional schools, such as medical, dental, podiatric medicine, optometry, veterinary medicine and pharmacy.
The Department of Biological Sciences at NIU stands against oppression in all its forms. We stand for social and racial justice and are working to improve diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in our department. We recognize that biological sciences has a long history of colonialism, racism and white supremacy and has participated in oppressive endeavors, including biological racism, eugenics and inhumane treatment of and experimentation on Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). That history and that of our society mean institutionalized, systemic racism is still a part of biology today.
We have recently formed a DEI committee that has helped to remove the GRE from consideration in our graduate application process, instituted DEI discussions as part of regular faculty meetings, and edited our bylaws to ensure search committees have student representation and that tenure/promotion criteria are clear and equitable. We commit to further amending our policies, practices and curricula, to continue to make our department a better, more welcoming place for all faculty, students and staff.
We are currently in the process of creating a webpage where people can view our departmental DEI goals and progress toward them. If you have something you'd like to see in the department regarding DEI, please email Jen Koop, current chair of Biology's faculty DEI committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.